Public Health and Safety
Swimmer's itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, appears as a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain parasites found in certain birds and mammals . These microscopic parasites are released from infected snails into fresh and salt water (such as lakes, ponds, and oceans). Rather than finding a host bird or mammal, the parasite instead burrows into the nearby swimmer's skin, causing an allergic reaction and rash. Swimmer's itch is found throughout the world and is more frequent during summer months. For more information click on the link below.
Bed Bugs - Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed solely upon the blood of warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs and their relatives have evolved as nest parasites. Certain kinds inhabit bird nests and bat roosts and await the return of their hosts; others have adapted well to living in the ‘nests’ (homes) of people.
North Dakota Department of Health Bedbug Fact Sheet
University Of Kentucky Entomology Bedbug Information
Lyme Disease - Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful in the later stages of disease. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. For more information click on the link below.
West Nile Virus - West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes, and can cause serious, life-altering and even fatal disease. Virus transmission may occur in parts of the country where mosquitoes are still active. For more information, click on the links below.
Rabies - Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Domestic animals account for less than 10% of the reported rabies cases, with cats, cattle, and dogs most often reported rabid. For more information, click on the links below.
Bird Flu - Avian influenza virus usually refers to influenza A viruses found chiefly in birds, but infections can occur in humans. The risk is generally low to most people, because the viruses do not usually infect humans. However, confirmed cases of human infection have been reported since 1997. For more information, click on the links below.
Chronic Wasting Disease – Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a transmissible neurological disease of deer and elk that produces small lesions in brains of infected animals. It is characterized by loss of body condition, behavioral abnormalities and death. CWD is classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), and is similar to mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep.